As we all know everything is going green (or eco-friendly, sustainable, renewable, and so on). While some adopt these practices because they truly care, others do so because it looks good. You can’t get away from the “green” movement. It touches all facets of our lives from the building industry to household cleaners to retail and fashion. Try being a recruiter today without a “green” message, regardless if it actually makes a recruit pick you over your competitor. This potential ‘fad’ has taken root. But what are the considerations of this movement for the next generation (those born after 2001), those who follow the Millennials/Gen Y?
Some generational experts are calling them Generation Z which certainly fits and follows the previous two generations quite nicely – Gen X and Gen Y. Others are referring to them as Generation Thumb because all they will know how to do is talk with their thumbs…which is really not that different from the Millennials. But I propose a new brand for this group of 10 years old to those not yet born. (Keep in mind a generation spans 20 years so in 2012 we will just begin to start welcoming the second decade of this latest generation to the world.)
I propose G² – Generation Green. No, not because I think we are going to be raising a bunch of tree huggers. I believe the green movement has roots in the parents of young children today and the habits will be passed down. Our young parents today are the younger Xers (those in their 30s) and the older Millennials (those in their late 20s).
When I was in college in the 90s we didn’t have recycle bins on every floor in our dorm but now they are staples on just about every floor in every dorm. When you go shopping at IKEA or Earth Fare you have to figure out what is trash and what is not and as we all ask our kids to clean up the table those decisions now fall to them. As I settle into my early 30s my husband and I have adopted more green and eco-friendly practices. We, like a number of our neighbors, have rain barrels, plant gardens, shop at farmers markets and recycle in larger volumes than we did when we were younger (when our Baby Boomer parents called the household shots).
We are creating habits with enough reinforcement to likely sustain our young children well into adulthood. And this is why I think our latest generation should be rightfully named G² – Generation Green.
Happy Earth Day to all the Generations. Remember Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd – don’t forget to plant a tree!